WV Supreme Court orders convicted sex offender released from pri - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

WV Supreme Court orders convicted sex offender released from prison

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Virgil Shrader is ordered to be released from prison by the Supreme Court of Appeals of WV Virgil Shrader is ordered to be released from prison by the Supreme Court of Appeals of WV

(WVVA) A Mercer County man is ordered to be released from prison by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Virgil Shrader, 69, was arrested on May 28, 2007 and was indicted in February 2009 for 12 counts of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual abuse by a custodian or person of trust. He spent nearly 21 months on home confinement before a plea hearing was set.

According to court documents, several charges against Shrader were dismissed. “Three of the counts pertaining to sexual abuse by a person of trust were dismissed because the offenses charged could have taken place before the effective date of the statute. The counts pertaining to sexual assault in the first degree were dismissed because the alleged victim told police and a child protective services worker that there was no penetration or contact between the sex organs of the defendant and the accuser, there was no oral contact between the two and there was no other allegation relating to sexual intercourse as defined by statute.”

READ ENTIRE DECISION: STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA VS. VIRGIL SHRADER

However, six counts of first degree sexual abuse remained.

In February 2009, Shrader entered a ‘plea of nolo contender' which means “I do not wish to contend” to one count of first degree sexual abuse. All the remaining counts were dropped. Shrader was sentenced to five years probation, ordered to undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment, and was banned from having any contact with the victim or victim's family.

Shrader never admitted to the abuse while undergoing years of court-ordered treatment. During a hearing held in July 2013, the Circuit Court focused on a failed polygraph test and the fact that Shrader never acknowledged doing anything wrong. On November 1, 2013, the court revoked his probation and sentenced Shrader to 1 to 5 years in prison.

At the time the Circuit Court concluded, “This could have been taken care of long ago but you refused to admit your actions. This admission [referring to the Petitioner's then recent admission of guilt] I think is a red herring. I think you're making this admission now just to stay out of jail. This just needs to come to an end. We've tried to take care of this now for almost five years and we're still in it. We just need to end it.”

In a decision released on October 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of Appeals states Shrader did not breach the terms of his plea agreement and he was not required to admit guilt under the ‘plea of nolo contender.'

READ DISSENTING OPINION BY JUSTICE ALLEN LOUGHRY

Shrader is ordered to be released from incarceration and the case “is remanded for further proceedings in which specific performance of the plea agreement is followed including entering an order in which the Petitioner is found to have completed the conditions imposed under the plea agreement, allowing the Petitioner to withdraw his plea and ordering the State to dismiss all the charges.”

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